Yealands is taken over

Marlborough Lines has agreed to invest NZ$89 million to purchase an 80% shareholding in New Zealand wine producer, Yealands.

Yealands founder Peter Yealands will remain a shareholder and will continue his involvement with the company’s operations. Yealands CEO Jason Judkins will also hold shares in the company following this transaction.

Yealands said: “In looking for an investor we wanted someone who shared our beliefs and who would help us to continue to build the business, both in expanding our fruit supply and in developing our international marketing programme.”

Marlborough Lines is  an electricity network owner/operator. Managing director Ken Forrest said the purchase is a good investment and will provide increased dividends to consumers. It will also provide long-term economic and social benefits to the region.

Forrest said Marlborough Lines had realised profits of more than $100m from investments which up until recently had been held outside the region, and the investment in Yealands provides an opportunity to reinvest locally.

“Opportunities to invest in the electricity industry are limited and this led to us looking to other options. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to acquire an 80% interest in Yealands,” Forrest said.

Yealands said that the Yealands Wine Group was continuing to perform well ahead of forecasts with unparalleled demand coming from both the domestic and international markets. “The current vintage is going to be one of the very best on record and our 2015 wines our finest yet,” he said.